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Please join us for a special summer solstice meet-up of the Weekday Trailblazers Afternoon Hiking Group.
To celebrate the summer solstice, we will combine our Topanga Ridge and Saddle Peak routes into a scenic 9-mile loop, beginning and ending at the Stunt Road trailhead, and traversing along the Pacific in between. We will stop and mark the day together near the halfway point, so bring your favorite food and beverage (sharing is encouraged). Note that we will start at 4:00pm to help get us in before dark.
Our afternoon hikes are intended for people hiking, or wishing to hike, at an intermediate level or above, and seeking time outdoors with fun people sharing similar interests and fitness goals.
The afternoon format emphasizes easy-to-access and scenic 5-8 mile conditioning routes with moderate elevation gains, a total hiking time of 2-3 hours at a moderate pace, periodic rest and sightseeing stops, and optional technique discussions and training exercises (based on individual and group interest).
We schedule our afternoon meet-ups as late as the season allows to ensure a return before dark, while encouraging people with a variety of work and home schedules to get a great conditioning hike in during the week and tune-up for weekend adventures.
Here is info on our scheduled hike…hope to see you there!
Topanga Ridge - Stunt High Trail Loop
Hike Type: Conditioning
Route Type: Loop
Distance: 9 miles
Elevation gain: 1600 feet
Terrain: Fire road & ridge trail
This hike will take us 9 miles roundtrip along several dramatic overlooks above Stunt Ranch State Park, Calabasas Peak, Topanga and Cold Creek Canyons, and the Pacific. From almost any spot we choose as our break points, there will be striking views north into Ventura County, northeast to the San Fernando and Simi Valleys, and southeast and southwest to the Pacific Ocean. The route passes through and over a variety of interesting geological formations, including large weathered sandstone outcroppings and colorful rock slabs.
Our route aims to cover a dramatic ridgeline trail that leads high above the surrounding canyons and hills to the panoramic Topanga Lookout situated above the Pacific. Though this first part of the hike is fairly short in distance by Blazer standards, it involves significant elevation gain, winding and rocky trails, and some light (Class I) grappling. After reaching the Lookout, we will traverse west to the Backbone Trail, summit at Saddle Peak, and then descend along the Stunt High Trail.
Our hike begins on the Calabasas Peak Trail, an open fire road that provides a moderate but steady uphill ascent in a northeasterly direction from the Stunt Road trailhead. Early in the hike, there are beautiful views of the Santa Monica Mountains and Stunt Ranch State Park to our left and then Topanga Canyon as we reach Red Rock Canyon Road and the turn to the Topanga Ridge Trail after about a mile. When then leave the Calabasas Peak Trail and begin a steeper southerly uphill trek along the informally-named Topanga Ridge Trail. This route will take us along spectacular tilted and pocketed sandstone formations set against the mountains, and offers increasingly dramatic views of the area as we proceed.
After completing our ascent, we continue west to and then on the Backbone Trail until we reach Saddle Peak. After ascending Saddle Peak, we continue west on the Backbone Trail until we reach the Stunt High Trail and then descend northeasterly to the Stunt Road trailhead.
The route begins on a canyon floor but then ascends to and proceeds along open ridgeline. Since we start in a fairly sheltered location and reach exposed areas open to the Pacific and surrounding valleys, weather can range from calm and humid to misty with ocean winds to quite warm and dry conditions. We will stop along the Topanga Ridge Trail to grab a snack and enjoy the great view. On our way back, especially after sunset, we can enjoy the canyons in the gathering twilight.
Please wear – brush-resistant pants, one or more wicking shirts appropriate to the temperature, comfortable hiking shoes or light boots, your favorite undergarments and accessories, and a light backpack. (On this hike, a long-sleeve shirt and eye protection are recommended to protect against overhanging brush.)
Please bring – at least two liters of water, snacks, an extra layer of clothing, a charged cell phone, identification, a headlamp, a small first-aid kit, bug repellant and sunscreen, a waterproof shell if rain is forecast, and any medications or anything else you might need on the trail.
Free off-street parking is available at the dirt turnout on Stunt Road
Please do not leave anything of value in your car, at this or any other trailhead.
From the 101 – exit at the Las Virgenes Road exit and go south (toward the ocean). Drive 3 miles to Mulholland Highway and make a left turn. Continue 4 miles to Stunt Road and turn right. Go one mile, and park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
From the PCH – turn up Malibu Canyon Road and drive 6.5 miles to Mulholland Highway. Turn right and continue 4 miles to Stunt Road. Turn right and drive one mile. Park and meet in the dirt pullout on the right. (The trailhead is across the street at the gated fire road.)
DISCLAIMER / RELEASE OF LIABILITY
IMPORTANT, PLEASE READ BELOW IN ITS ENTIRETY:
The hike host is a volunteer and not responsible for the group. Safety should be a priority for everyone in the group. Please treat this meet-up as hiking with a group of friends. If you become fatigued and unable to continue the hike, it is expected you will advise the hike host of this and return to our starting point on your own. If you are able to proceed, it is expected that you will maintain line of sight with other members of the group at all times and help to promote the group’s safety and fitness goals.
Outdoor sports and other events we plan can be inherently dangerous and accidents may happen. By participating in any posted event, you are taking responsibility for your own safety and well-being. The Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers are not trained leaders and we do not confirm the qualifications of any of its members to lead or participate in trips. All participants take full responsibility for their own actions.
If you choose to sign up for this or any Weekday Trailblazers Meetup event, you are releasing the Weekday Trailblazers Meetup Group and its organizers from all liability in case of possible injuries. Your personal safety depends on your own judgment and experience.
PLEASE CONTACT ME WITH ANY QUESTIONS!